Top 25 College Football: Perfect Irish in BCS Title Game
Theo Riddick rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown, Kyle Brindza kicked five field goals, and the top-ranked Irish secured a spot in the BCS championship game with a 22-13 victory over Southern California. Everett Golson passed for 217 yards as the 12-0 Fighting Irish completed their first perfect regular season since 1988. The Irish earned a trip to Miami on Jan. 7 and will play the winner of the Alabama-Georgia SEC championship game next Saturday.
Notre Dame's hard-nosed defense appropriately made the decisive stand in the final minutes. The Irish kept USC out of the end zone on four plays from the Irish 1 with 2:33 to play. USC finished 7-5.
In other AP Top-25 football:
-- Alabama has reached the SEC championship game, which effectively has become a semifinal for the national championship game. AJ McCarron passed for four touchdowns and Eddie Lacy rushed for 131 yards and two scores to lead the Crimson Tide to a 49-0 rout of rival Auburn in the most lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years. Next up for the second-ranked Tide is Georgia.
-- Aaron Murray threw two touchdown passes, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each ran for a pair of TDs to lead No. 3 Georgia to a 42-10 rout of Georgia Tech. The victory keeps the 11-1 Bulldogs in the thick of the national championship race.
-- Carlos Hyde ran for 146 yards and No. 4 Ohio State's defense shut out 20th-ranked Michigan in the second half to grab a bruising 26-21 victory. The win completes an improbable 12-0 season for the Buckeyes who are ineligible for post-season play. Michigan finishes 8-4 and will now await a minor bowl bid.
-- Fifth-ranked Oregon recovered from its loss to Stanford last week by rolling over Oregon State 48-24. The 10-1 Ducks got three touchdown runs from De'Anthon Thomas and two from Kenjon Barner to keep their faint hopes for a national championship shot alive. Thomas ran for 198 yards and Barner added 122 rushing. - Mike Gillislee ran for two touchdowns and No. 6 Florida scored 24 straight points in the fourth quarter to defeat Florida State 37-26 and keep its national title hopes alive.
-- Heisman Trophy hopeful Johnny Manziel threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores as No. 9 Texas A&M beat Missouri 59-29.
-- Stepfan Taylor rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns, Kevin Hogan passed for 160 yards and another score, and No. 11 Stanford beat No. 15 UCLA 35-17 to win the Pacific-12 Conference North title. Stanford will host a rematch with the Bruins Friday in the Pac-12 Conference championship game.
-- Backup quarterback Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns, Jadeveon Clowney had 4 1-2 sacks and No. 13 South Carolina won its fourth straight over 12th-ranked Clemson 27-17. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier became the school's victories leader with 65 in eight seasons.
-- Landry Jones threw for 500 yards and three touchdowns, and Brennan Clay scored on an 18-yard run in overtime to lift No. 14 Oklahoma to a 51-48 win against No. 22 Oklahoma State in the Bedlam rivalry.
-- Chad Christen kicked a 30-yard field goal in the third overtime to give Connecticut a 23-20 upset win over No. 19 Louisville. - Tino Sunseri passed for 227 yards and two touchdowns in his final home game as Pittsburgh overwhelmed No. 21 Rutgers 27-6.
-- Chuckie Keeton passed for two touchdowns to lead 25th-ranked Utah State to a 45-9 drubbing of Idaho to secure its first outright conference title in 76 years. The Western Athletic Conference champion Aggies also got a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown from senior Will Davis.
-- Bo Wallace threw for 294 yards and five touchdowns, Donte Moncrief caught three TD passes and Mississippi pulled away in the second half to beat No. 25 Mississippi State 41-24.
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